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Vietnam lessons

Author: Ayre от 9.08.2014, 16:31
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Veronica Krasheninnikova, The Head of International Studies and Journalism Center MIA "Russia Today"


The 2-4th of August is the 50th anniversary of South China Sea event known as a Tontines incident, which gave USA a rise to direct use of armed forces in the war in Vietnam.
The technology of political and military involvement of USA in Vietnam does not lose edge so far, they are used nowadays – one can remember examples of Egypt, Syria and Libya. Today USA takes an active part in military struggle in Ukraine. In spite of geographical and time remoteness of these two military conflicts the main apparent resemblant features could be seen clearly.
Firstly, the attempts of USA to fill the political vacuum after the French retirement by the way of violent overflow of communist government and institution of pro-American regime threatened to brake the balance of forces in Austro-Asiatic region. The Ukrainian conflict is one in the range (in the line with NATO expansion to the East, American missile defense system disposal in Europe, etc.) of attempt to change the established after cold war termination balance of forces in Europe. USA and its European allies involved in affairs of sovereign statements, crudely violated the international law along all the perimeter of ex-soviet country unit, starting from Yugoslavia, then in Moldova, Georgia and now do it in Ukraine.
Secondly, fertile ground for American intervention machine gives a presence of political unstable situation. It was obviously seen that split of Ukrainian society in the fall of the last year on the issue of “European integration at the expence of economic and cultural connections with Russia” gave a start to barefaced activities of American diplomacy for further destabilization of the situation in Ukraine. The result was not longer to be waiting for – in the South-East of Ukraine the situation rapidly turned into civil war (International Committee of the Red Cross officially declared the conflict in Ukraine to be a civil war). The war in Vietnam (1957-1975) also started with a civil war in the South Vietnam, in which lately the North Vietnam was involved. But the activity of American diplomats, military specialists and intelligence representatives increased in some year before the war started.
Thirdly, historian stated that Tonkinese incident was voluntarily provoked by USA for taking a purpose for military intervention. Many analytics, among which ex-employees of American secret services evidenced that USA intelligent data, composed to be one of main arguments for setting by the Congress a decision to start a military operation in Vietnam, was fabricated. Nowadays the reports about military provocations in Ukraine are coming every day, some of experts do not except the possibility that MH-17 flight was downed for a reason of provocation in the aim of further conflict escalation. The tragedy is actively used by Eastern politicians and mass media for anti-Russian spirits setting and sanctions toughen.
These and many other parallels force to pay more attention to circumstances, accompanied by the war in Vietnam and its impacts, which give an opportunity to study the lessons of history for the today reality appliance.
USA remains the only country, which denies signing the final Genève conference declaration in 1954, which terminated eight-year French-Vietnam war. Genève Statement, signed on the 17th of April, 2014, by the representatives of USA, Russia, UE and Ukrain, on the settlement (“de-escalation”) of the situation in Ukraine was ignored by Washington also. The Government of P. Poroshenko backed by USA practically broke up the reached settlement by starting the military operation in Slovyansk.
Even during the Genève conference in June of 1954 the United States began to form quasi-military troops in Vietnam. Under the guidance of the leading specialist of CIA Edward Lansdale, Washington sanctioned starting the company of military and information influece on the Democracy Republic of Vietnam (DRV). During the next six months CIA team under the guidance of Lansdale conducted propaganda among Vietnams in the intention to stimulate the population migration from the North to the South, spreading the rumors about rapes conducted by Chinese to arise hatred of China. Thus started the frameworks for the future USA aggression into Vietnam by sending the successful Vietnams applicants to its Pacific military bases and prepared them to a partisan war. From 1955 to 1959 Michigan University conducted a secret education program of policy officers of South Vietnam on the account of USA Government.
At the same time the United States started an economical boycott of North Vietnam and threatened to bring under the sanction list the French companies which had a business in North Vietnam. Today USA starts sanctions against Russia and ignores the protests of its bossiness community and puts pressure on its allies in Europe, potentially gives them a painful impact, taking into account their closer financial and economic relations with Russia.
Another event rendering a serious effect on subsequent political processes was the abolition of the election of 1956, which according to the Geneva Convention, had to unite North and South Vietnam in the united sole State. Elections were thwarted as the United States have relied on the most pro-American candidate of Ngo Dinh Diem, who refused to participate in them. Initially extremely unpopular politician made ​​a career out of anti-communist agenda and the "struggle of the free world" with North Vietnam, DRV. He made ​​a statement that he would not participate in the consultations, and even more so in the elections, despite the appeal of the DRV government to start negotiations.
Instead, in October 1955, in South Vietnam Diem held a referendum "on the future of Vietnam", which received 98.2% of the vote - an overwhelming result was achieved as a result of apparent fraud. "Life" magazine later reported that American advisers of Diem considered that 60% would be enough, and such a result would look more authentic, but Diem insisted on 98%. Hastily organized vote recalls the presidential elections in Ukraine, where also "won" a pro-American candidate, stated for the armed struggle in the country, while apart of which did not vote at all.
With the support of the Americans, often ignoring the national traditions and objective factors of the state development of other countries, Diem in South Vietnam established strict police regime, characterized by political repression and human rights abuses. In accordance with the provisions of the law issued 1957, each Vietnamese older than 15 years had to register with the state agencies and carry an identity card permanently. Anyone caught without proper identification on a suspect in the activities of the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam (Viet Cong) had to be imposed imprisonment. During mandatory registration for every Vietnamese older than 15 years and issuance of identity cards a full set of fingerprints was filmed. The information about person’s political beliefs was recorded also.
Diem regime was notable for the highest level of corruption. In the country with 90% of the population practiced Buddhism, Catholic Diem rewarded his folds tax incentives, promotions and other "bonuses". Due to land reform initiated by Diem only 13% of the land was redistributed in favor of the peasants. Landowners rescheduled ownership to members of the ruling family.
At the time when population discontent by Diem’s policy became a threat to the influence of the United States in South Vietnam, Washington turned him in to general officers On the 1st of November, 1963 out of military coup, Diem was overthrown and killed. The coup, as «Time» magazine wrote, «was planned with the State Department, the Department of Defense and the United States Information Agency"cognition. Taking into account the sad experience of other political leaders, primarily supported by the United States (as examples from recent history - Eduard Shevardnadze and Miheil Saakashvili), the question arises – is that not such a fate in the case of the very real pitfalls of the Ukraine’s current president , in case he just stumbles a bit?
For the preparation of military aggression USA organized a large-scale falsification and forgery. Thus, the former CIA agent Philip Liechty stated in 1982 that in the early 1960, he saw the plan, which was to load the Vietnamese ship by large quantities of weapons from the countries of the Warsaw Pact, and by staging of the battle, in which the boat had to be sunk on shallow water. It was planned to highlight the events in mass media in order to demonstrate the captured weapons as a proof of foreign assistance to Viet Cong. This operation was successfully carried out by the Americans in 1965. Nowadays such falsifications can be found in a way of video tapes, allegedly confirming a shipment of Russian arms to Ukraine’s South-East militiants.
The United States intervention into the internal conflict of Vietnam was the prologue to a large and bloody war. Open military intervention the United States in Vietnam began in 1965. However, by the end of 1964 in the country were more than 20 thousand of American soldiers. By the end of 1965, there were nearly 20 thousands of American army men, and later their number exceeded half a million people. At the same time the American instructors as well as the military, also military equipment sent to Vietnam since 1961, id est. before the adoption of Tonkin resolution. Similarly, the United States politicians are actively discussing the issue of supply of lethal weapons of the Ukrainian army today and sent to Kiev American military advisers today.
Actual military defeat and the rise of anti-war sentiment in the United States in many ways determined the outcome of the war. In January 1973, the United States signed the Paris Peace Agreement, according to which their troops left the territory of South Vietnam by March of the same year.
During the war the United States dropped on Vietnam 6 727 084 tons of bombs - more than Germany and Japan all got together during the World War II. A proliferation of carpet bombing, which resulted in entire villages were razed to the ground. Napalm and white phosphorous using took place. And the most powerful campaign of carpet bombing of Vietnamese cities was carried out by the Americans after the end of the active phase of their military intervention – the only reason to make the leadership of North Vietnam to sign an agreement with South Vietnam on its terms.
Massively using of pesticides took place for a reason to kill vegetation that for many years doomed the people living in the contaminated territories to genetic diseases. How can one does not remember Iraq and Yugoslavia, where American forces used depleted uranium shells (in the Iraqi city of Fallujah number of congenital abnormalities in children has increased 60-fold after the military invasion of the United States and its allies). There is nothing surprising in the fact that there are reports of phosphorous bombs and chemical weapons using against militints of Donbass by Ukrainian authorities - the minions of the United States.
In order to eradicate the Vietcong spy network on the territory of South Vietnam a program "Phoenix" was launched by the Americans. A huge number of South Vietnam people have been abducted and tortured, often totally on spurious grounds. The program manager William Colby admitted himself - his staff was not sure that the Viet Cong agent can be distinguished from a loyal citizen of South Vietnam. According to the government of South Vietnam the number of the "Phoenix" victims was more than 40 thousand people. Allies committed murders of unarmed population. For example, March 16, 1968, American soldiers brutally killed more than 500 residents of the village of My Lai. The pervasive nature of war crimes has become a distinctive feature of US military units operating in Vietnam.
A direct result of the war became a huge number of mass casualties: 2 million civilians, 1.1 million and 200 thousand of North and South Vietnam servicemen respectively and also 58 thousand of American soldiers.
Massive bombings across the country turned it into ruins, and the use of American chemical warfare agents, such as Agent Orange, including those containing dioxin (which causes blood and liver disorders and newborns mutations), besides that gases (which used in a confined space leads to lethal outcome) resulted in numerous civilian casualties and had severe ecological consequences. It is estimated that 4.8 million Vietnamese suffered from spraying defoliants.
As a result the chemicals using irrevocably changed the ecological balance of Vietnam. Almost completely mangroves (500 thousand hectares) were destroyed, 60% (about 1 million hectares) of jungle and 30% (more than 100 thousand hectares) of lowland forests were damaged. Productivity of rubber plantations has decreased by 75%. In the affected areas only 18 from the 150 species of birds remained. There was an almost complete disappearance of amphibians and insects; the number of fish in the rivers reduced also. There was a change in their composition. The microbiological composition of the soil was disturbed; plants were poisoned.
The Vietnam War affected the boomerang the United States itself. "Vietnam syndrome" - the refusal of the public to support military campaigns with great loss of life and uncertain political and military objectives - still haunts American society. This is not surprising taking into account the sacrifices it had brought to the political interests of his government. In addition to the 58 thousand of victims, died as a result of injuries and illnesses 303 thousand went missing. American soldiers received injuries of varying severity. However, the most painful effect of the Vietnam War for the United States emerged after its completion: the number of veterans of the American armed forces, committed suicide after returning home, the number of them variously estimated 100-150 thousand (id est it was more than were killed in the war itself).
The long war had split American society. Large-scale performances of the American people were a new phenomenon, which the country had not known before. The Vietnam War led to the political and ideological crisis in the United States, the collapse of the unity with which the American authorities had reached at the time the support of its people regarding the activities of the Cold War against "the expansion of communism."
After more than ten years of bloody war, the United States failed to destroy the government of Ho Chi Minh and installed a pro-American leadership in the country. Nevertheless, the methods by which America has acted in Indochina, is not much different from those that it applies in all corners of the globe where it sparks wars and mass death of civilians. Therefore it is not surprising that the reaction (or rather its absence) which the United States demonstrate in response to the shelling of Donbass residential areas by the Ukrainian army.
In retrospect, the main lesson of the Vietnam War for the United States was the fact that all the sacrifices were in vain: Washington won neither military nor political point. The only one who received dividends from the war, was the American military-industrial complex, earned billions of dollars by killing millions of people (according to official estimates, the United States spent on the war in Vietnam 111 billion dollars). Today, when the public debt of the USA for a year exceeded the state annual gross domestic product (GDP) (106%, 17 trillion dollars), it seems that the American military lobby is trying to solve its economic problems by means of "small victorious war".
Recent history shows that the White House does not remember the lessons of the 20th century. However, no one is interested the Ukraine to become a "second Vietnam".

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